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Ask the Dermatologist

Safe Makeup Tips for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Q. My teenage daughter has eczema (atopic dermatitis) that now seems under control. She’s asking about wearing makeup. What do you think would be safe for her to try?  Dr. Skotnicki: I always like the analogy of atopic eczema and asthma. If you have asthma, you don`t smoke since the smoke may cause a flare-up of […]

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What is Contact Dermatitis?

Q. I have hand eczema that is red, scaly and itchy. My doctor thinks it’s “contact dermatitis” and is sending me for patch testing. Can you tell me about the condition and test? FYI, I’m a caterer, so I do wash my hands a lot. Dr. Skotnicki: Contact dermatitis is a common occupational medical issue. It will occur in occupations where there is exposure […]

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Can Allergies Cause or Worsen Dyshidrotic Eczema?

Q. After months of misery, I’ve finally been diagnosed with dyshidrotic eczema on my hands. My doctor says it’s genetic, but since I have asthma and environmental allergies, I wonder could this be caused or worsened by an allergy? Dr. Skotnicki: Dyshidrotic eczema, also known as pompholyx, is indeed a genetic skin disease, characterized by […]

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Preventing Atopic Eczema Flare-Ups

Q. My 8-year-old daughter gets eczema and finds breakouts during the school year most embarrassing (not to mention itchy). Any suggestions? Dr. Skotnicki: At the age of 8, your daughter likely has a genetic form of eczema which is referred to as atopic eczema. This is a chronic and recurrent condition that usually flares in […]

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About Poison Ivy Reactions

Q. My son suffers with rashes to poison ivy at the cottage. Is this an allergy? Dr. Skotnicki: The rash you get from touching poison ivy is an allergic response to the plant’s resin, called urushiol. Poison ivy allergic contact dermatitis usually appears 24 hours after exposure and can range from being mildly red, swollen […]

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Do I Have an Allergy to Parabens?

Q. I get severe skin breakouts to parabens. They seem to be in so many cosmetics, body creams and sunblocks. Can you tell me what parabens are, what causes this allergy and what I can do to avoid them? Dr. Skotnicki: Parabens are one of the most commonly used preservatives in the cosmetic and toiletry […]

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Do I Have a Shampoo Allergy?

Q. I recently used a new shampoo and it caused my scalp to go bright red, itchy and flaky. My doctor said this was a reaction to sulfates in the shampoo called contact dermatitis. Is this a shampoo allergy? Can you tell me more about what happened? Dr. Skotnicki: Most shampoos today contain fragrance, and […]

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About Anti-Aging Products

Q. I’m a 40-year-old woman with sensitive skin, and I get some flaking around the eyes. What anti-aging products would you suggest? Dr. Skotnicki: The best anti-aging product is still sunblock. Unless you’re spending a lot of time outside, a moisturizer with added SPF 15 is enough for the winter. Steer clear of products that […]

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Sun Allergy: Symptoms and Treatment

Q. My teenage daughter just found out she has a sun allergy. Can you explain what her symptoms mean, and what type of sunscreen she should be using to best protect herself? Dr. Skotnicki: Many patients develop itchy, red, raised lesions while on a sun holiday, or during the spring in Canada. Though this reaction […]

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Could I Have an Eye Makeup Allergy?

Q. In the spring, the skin around my eyes seems easily irritated, and becomes flaky and peels when I wear most eye shadows or use certain moisturizers. Could these be symptoms of an allergy to eye makeup? What do you suggest? Dr. Skotnicki: Because the skin around the eye is the thinnest on the body, […]

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